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Alex Brandon / AP

Without a spending bill, parts of the government began shutting down early Saturday for the third time this year. That means most federal services, including the Departments of State, Justice, Transportation, and Homeland Security, will close temporarily.

Why it matters: Even if you aren't a government employee, a shutdown can still affect you personally — from how your tax dollars are spent to which tourists sites you can't visit.

What could happen

420,000 federal employees will be working with delayed pay, per CNBC, including:

  • Over 41,000 law federal law enforcement officers from various departments
  • The majority of Homeland Security employees
  • Around 54,000 Customs and Border Protection employees
  • Several thousand Forest Service firefighters and National Weather Service forecasters

Another 380,000 federal employees would be furloughed, meaning they won't be going to work and won't be getting paid. This will include:

  • 96% of NASA employees
  • 86% of Commerce Department workers
  • 30% of Transportation Department employees
  • 80% of Forest and National Park Services
  • 95% of Housing and Urban Development workers

What it means for you:

  • Mail: The U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency that doesn't rely on tax dollars to operate, so your mail will still be delivered.
  • Your wallet: When the government shut down for 16 days in 2013, it cost taxpayers $2 billion in lost productivity, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Tourism: All national parks, museums, and zoos will be closed. You might also have trouble getting a passport.
  • Transportation: There could be some airline and train delays, as "non-essential" employees will be furloughed.
  • Food stamps: You can still collect these. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a mandatory entitlement program.
  • Federal courts: The courts won't close their doors immediately, but they could be affected if a shutdown lasts more than 10 days, according to past guidance.
  • Social security: You will still receive payments under the program, as it is deemed mandatory by the government.
  • Loans: Whether you own a small business or are planning to buy a house, you'll have to wait if you need a loan from the government.

One government entity that won't be affected by a partial shutdown? The office of special counsel Robert Mueller, which is "funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation."

Go deeper: Trump's Christmas shutdown spooks GOP

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.